Tuesday, August 24, 2010

"Reaching the Last Technology Holdouts at the Front of the Classroom"

I stumbled upon this article over the summer, and even though it's talking about college professors, I think the overall theme of the story is really pertinent to all levels of teaching. The article suggests that the lecture method really isn't working at the college level, for students that choose to be there, so why should it work for elementary or middle school students who have no choice in what they have to learn? It's becoming harder and harder to hold the attention of students and the ever-looming distraction of all the technology that's out there isn't helping. If incorporated into what they're learning, it'll be easier to engage students. The comparison of the doctor using old practices really hits the message home that teachers in general need to stay up to date on the latest practices and technologies. Would you want a doctor to prescribe something that was considered safe back in the 60s but has since been determined harmful? I didn't think so. So why should educators be any different? I completely agree that outdated teaching practices is basically malpractice in the fact that we're not preparing students for the ever-changing world of technology if, as teachers, we aren't prepared for it ourselves. I'm not saying that technology needs to be incorporated into everything, but straight lecturing is not effective because it only works well for students that are auditory learners.


Annie Tillmann said...

If you click the title in blue, you can read the article if you're interested.

medwards said...

I think that the comparison of teachers to doctors is very interesting, and in many ways very insightful. It's true that we would expect doctors to use the most up-do-date methods and I think we should definitely hold teachers to that standard as well. I like the gravity that teaching has when it is compared to a doctor's practice or malpractice and I think it's very realistic. The thing that came to mind when I read that was that a parent of a sick child would never challenge a doctor who prescribes a specific antibiotic, but many parents challenge teachers' recommendations. Perhaps if all teachers were as up-to-date with their methods as doctors are, they would not be challenged by parents who question their methods.